Tarundeep Rai Archery Academy to come up in Sikkim, CM announces

Gangtok, 29 Aug (IPR ): Sikkim joined the rest of the nation in celebrating National Sports Day today. Each year, 29 August is celebrated as ‘National Sports Day’ in honour and commemoration of the birth anniversary of Indian Hockey Legend Late Major Dhyan Chand. A special function was organized

at Samman Bhawan, Gangtok under the aegis of Sports and Youth Affairs Department to mark the important occasion. The event was attended by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang as the chief guest. The programme had the presence of Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Kunga Nima Lepcha, Cabinet Ministers and other dignitaries. Ace Archer Arjuna Awardee and Padmashree, Tarundeep Rai and National Boxing Coach, Sandhya Gurung were present as special invitees. The programme was organized with limited invitees in keeping with the Covid-19 guidelines. However, district officials, sports persons and members of various sporting organizations in the State joined the event virtually from different venues through video conferencing facilitated by NIC. The highlight of the event was the felicitation of Tarundeep Rai and Sandhya Gurung in honour of their contribution in the field of sports. The ace archer is a three time Olympian and has made the nation and state proud with numerous feats. Likewise, Sandhya Gurung has had a long career in boxing, and is currently the personal coach of national boxer Lovlina Borgohain of Assam who won the bronze medal in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2020. Tarundeep Rai was accompanied in the programme by his spouse Anjana Bhattarai, while the boxing coach was accompanied by her husband Manoj Limboo.

The Chief Minister presented the Certificate of Appreciation and cash award of Rs.5 lakh to Tarundeep Rai. Likewise, he presented the Certificate of Appreciation and cash award of Rs.3 lakh to Sandhya Gurung. The audience was treated to short videos on Tarundeep Rai and Sandhya Gurung highlighting

their journey in their respective sporting fields. A short video on ‘hockey wizard’ Late Major Dhyan

Chand was also screened on the occasion to mark the significance of the day. The videos were prepared by the Sports and Youth Affairs Department in collaboration with Doordarshan Kendra

Gangtok. Also on the occasion, cash incentives were presented to twenty-two (22) sportspersons

from various sports disciplines. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang

emphasized on the importance of sports in every individual’s life. He said that sport is a positive

engagement and should be encouraged at every stage. Being a sports lover himself, he shared

a few anecdotes from his past to encourage budding sports persons to excel in their sporting

field. He stressed the need to inculcate discipline, dedication and dutifulness to ensure a successful

sporting career. The Chief Minister highlighted some of the key initiatives of the Government to encourage sporting activities in the State. He shared that there has been a marked decline in the Covid-19 positivity rate in the State, which could be due to the vaccination coverage. He added that by the month of October, Sikkim would be the first fully vaccinated State. He expressed hope that sporting activities would soon resume throughout the State. The Chief Minister made the important announcement that the State of Sikkim will have its own Archery Academy in near future. He said the name of the Academy would be ‘Tarundeep Rai Archery Academy Sikkim’, and the same would be reflected in the budget of the next financial year. He directed the Sports and Youth Affairs Department to immediately start the preliminary work in consultation with Tarundeep Rai himself. The Chief Minister

asserted that the Institute would give birth to many more Olympians in the future. Earlier, Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Kunga Nima Lepcha, in his address, thanked the Chief Minister for his personal involvement to encourage sporting culture in the State. While paying tribute to the legendary

hockey player Late Major Dhyan Chand, he maintained that the Government of Sikkim started

celebrating ‘National Sports Day’ from the year 2020, as an occasion to honour the contribution of

sports persons and also to deliberate on the importance of sports in our lives. The programme was also

addressed by Tarundeep Rai and Sandhya Gurung. Both the sports persons briefly shared their personal journey and provided valuable advices to young and budding sportspersons. Tarundeep

Rai called for the need to strengthen sporting infrastructures in the State, and ensure that highest priority is given to young and upcoming sportspersons. Sandhya Gurung stressed that every

sportsperson should strive for the best by inculcating discipline, dedication, determination, and

patience in their lives. The programme had the special presence of Ministers: Arun Upreti and Karma Loday Bhutia, Advisor Sports Department, Megnath Subba, Chairperson Khadi Board, Chung Chung Bhutia, Political Secretary to CM, Jacob Khaling, Secretary CMO, SD Dhakal, Secretary CMO, Tenzeen

Kizom, Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Raju Basnet, Secretary Culture, DB Rawat, senior officers of Sports Department and was joined through video conferencing by President

Olympic Association of Sikkim, Kuber Bhandari and members of various sports organizations. Earlier,

the welcome address was delivered by Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Raju Basnet, and the programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Special Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, Suchitra Thapa.